Sexual assaults on college campuses: Emory says seven reported recently.

The Emory student newspaper, the Emory Wheel, says there were seven rapes reported in September and October, all by female students. One of the incidents occurred in the spring.

CBS Atlanta is reporting that the seven students told counselors that they were sexually assaulted by acquaintances and did not want to initiate investigations, but preferred to remain anonymous.

When I read these sorts of stories, I wonder if we are doing enough to educate young women and men about sexual assaults and about the role of alcohol. The Emory Wheel account does not address alcohol, but statistically there is a good chance it played a role in some of these assaults.

In a controversial 2004 report, the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study by researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health College Alcohol Study, Saint Joseph’s University and the University of Arizona found that one in 20 (4.7 percent) women reported being raped in college since the beginning of the school year – a period of approximately 7 months – and nearly three-quarters of those rapes (72 percent) happened when the victims were so intoxicated they were unable to consent or refuse.

The study found that women from colleges with medium and high binge-drinking rates had more than a 1.5-fold increased chance of being raped while intoxicated than those from schools with low binge- drinking rates. Other significant risk factors for rape were being under 21 years old, white, residing in sorority houses, using illicit drugs and binge drinking in high school.

When it was published, the study was criticized by women’s health advocates for focusing too much on the victim’s behavior rather than that of the rapist. Their position: The focus must remain on the person who commits the rape and so should the responsibility.

I thought the best comment on the study’s implications came from one of the authors:

“This study points to an urgent need for more alcohol prevention programs on campuses, along with sexual assault education,” said Mary P. Koss, Ph.D., professor of public health at the University of Arizona and a co-author of the study. “Men need education about what constitutes rape, and women should be better informed of strategies to avoid risky situations. Previous research shows that more women get raped while under the influence of alcohol than under the influence of any other so-called ‘date rape’ drug, such as GHB and Rohypnol.”

Here is the Emory Wheel account:

Seven instances of rape have been reported in September and October of this year. Three took place in residence halls at Clairmont Campus, two in fraternity houses on Eagle Row and one in Harris Hall. An act of aggravated sodomy took place at an unknown location on campus.

All of the student victims were female, and most of the instances of rape occurred between August and October 2012, with the exception of one case that took place in spring 2011.

According to Emory Police Department (EPD) Lieutenant Cheryl Elliott, the two incidents of rape in fraternity houses took place at Sigma Nu and Alpha Epsilon Pi (AEPi).

In response to the allegations, the Sigma Nu fraternity wrote the following statement: “We at Sigma Nu take these allegations of rape very seriously. This is the first we have heard of this incident, and we plan to cooperate fully with the Emory Police Department and Emory University in their investigation. Our organization does not condone activities like this and intends to help the Emory Police Department ensure that our campus is safe for all members of the community.”

In a statement to the Wheel, Alpha Epsilon Pi fraternity wrote: “We, Alpha Epsilon Pi, take this very seriously and are deeply disturbed by this allegation because we do not condone this behavior. We intend to cooperate fully with any investigation in order to get to the facts.”

Goizueta Business School senior and Interfraternity Council President Victor Rudo wrote in an email to the Wheel: “The Emory Greek community is built around respect for others, and allegations of sexual assault in any form run contradictory to our core values. IFC and our member organizations will continue to work with SAPA, the Respect Program and others in preventing and responding to these incidents.”

In addition, Dean of Students Bridget Guernsey Riordan said that “no person should ever feel unsafe or have any violence [inflicted] upon himself or herself on the Emory campus. We will do everything we can to investigate and will follow this up through the proper conduct and police channels.”

Approximately one in four women and one in 33 men will experience sexual assault during their college career, according to Lauren Bernstein, coordinator of the Respect Program.

“Sexual assault is an epidemic, but at Emory we do not believe this is inevitable,” Bernstein wrote in an email to the Wheel. “The Respect Program’s mission is to engage the Emory community to prevent sexual assault and relationship violence, and we envision a campus in which no student fears or experiences violence. As members of our community, we each have a role in ending sexual violence and supporting survivors.”

Bernstein added that the fact that students are reporting these incidents does not necessarily mean there is an increase in the number of rapes on campus, but that more students are coming forward.

–From Maureen Downey, for the AJC Get Schooled blog

68 comments Add your comment

Beverly Fraud

November 9th, 2012
12:41 pm

We at Sigma Nu take these allegations almost as seriously as we take our drinking very seriously.

jarvis

November 9th, 2012
12:44 pm

I had second hand knowledge of two assaults when I was in college. Not rape, but they both involved girls that were passed out, and boys fondling them.

I asked one of the observers why he didn’t stop the action. “Everybody was having a good time, and she’ll never know what happened.”

Anotther comment

November 9th, 2012
12:45 pm

Entitled frat boys who don’t understand what the word no is.

Secret Nana

November 9th, 2012
1:40 pm

I was date raped 44 years ago at college. It is still my secret. That animal will never know how much pain he has caused in my life.

skipper

November 9th, 2012
1:44 pm

Another comment,
Some, not all, but some of the girls let that foot slip and then feel guilty….terrible facts but true. Thats what that alcohol will do……..but there is no place at all for assault. Wrong, and should be punished.

Phil from Athens

November 9th, 2012
1:56 pm

“Sexual assaults on college campuses”

Just pass out more free condoms. That’s what Sandra Fluke and Obama wanted.

Phil from Athens

November 9th, 2012
1:58 pm

“This study points to an urgent need for more alcohol prevention programs on campuses, along with sexual assault education,”

That will, never in a million years, work. Every time someone wants to “ban” something whether it be guns, drugs etc, it only gets worse. Sex assault education programs are worthless.

Phil from Athens

November 9th, 2012
1:59 pm

“Other significant risk factors for rape were being under 21 years old, white, residing in sorority houses, using illicit drugs and binge drinking in high school.”

WHITE?????

bigdawg88

November 9th, 2012
2:13 pm

Phil, you’re an idiot! What does rape have to do with sex? I’ll wait….

Cobber

November 9th, 2012
2:25 pm

@another comment

Ah, so now every man who ever pledged a fraternity is a rapist? Even though in this particular sample only two of the seven happened at a frat house. Pretty broad brush you’re painting with.

Phil from Athens

November 9th, 2012
2:38 pm

“Phil, you’re an idiot! What does rape have to do with sex? ”

Poor kid, were you dropped on your head one too many times?

mystery poster

November 9th, 2012
2:38 pm

I read an advice column where the woman wrote it, said she got drunk and said “YES” to a sex with a guy she really didn’t like very much. Afterwards, she regretted it. The advice columnist said she was raped. I disagree. Of course no means no, but yes does not mean no. Regret does not equal rape.

I’m not sure if that’s the case here, but when you mix alcohol and frat parties….

RCB

November 9th, 2012
2:41 pm

Emory sure doesn’t seem to be the same place it was years ago. It comes from the top down.

indigo

November 9th, 2012
2:59 pm

In the years I spent in college and the Military, I never heard of even one rape happening. So, I wonder, were things different in those days or were assualts just not reported?

ATL Born and Raised

November 9th, 2012
3:04 pm

@indigo They weren’t reported. They are still woefully underreported today.

bootney farnsworth

November 9th, 2012
3:19 pm

colleges have never been the idealized safe haven people think them to be. in fact, if you’re not careful they’re actually worse than advertised.

young people out of their own for the first time, little experience in self restraint, add drugs and booze to the mix….far more goes on than the average school will ever let on to.

its also a major PR effort by administration to play down acts of violence. when I was at GPC I knew of several instances where the powers that be put pressure on the victim to play ball and be quiet.

especially if the victim was faculty.

bootney farnsworth

November 9th, 2012
3:20 pm

throw in money and a sense of entitlement at places like Emory….

Private Citizen

November 9th, 2012
3:25 pm

“the Respect Program”

What are they talking about? It’s got nothing to do with “respect.” It’s called “crime.” Identify the perpetrator and put them in jail. If the victims refuse to identify individuals and it revolves around one fraternity, close it down and cancel the charter – not needed on campus, thank you. “Respect?” Are these the kind of folk regulating finance law? Sounds like “corporate sociopath.” Sounds like they’re laughing about it until the next keg party.

“The Respect Program’s mission is to engage the Emory community to prevent sexual assault and relationship violence,

This kind of double speak makes me sick. It’s disgusting. You would think a place the caliber of “the Emory community” would not need to be “engaged” to “prevent sexual assault.” I am sure there are plenty of people at “the Emory community” who do not like being characterized as needing a lesson in “Respect.” For an endowed research institution, this is some awfully squishy lefty nonsense connected to the business school? Scientists and humanities scholars don’t even want anything to do with fraternities and don’t need to live at mama and daddy’s house on campus.

bootney farnsworth

November 9th, 2012
3:26 pm

http://www.bma-wellness.com/resources/atlanta_resources.html

for Phil. get some help with your anger and aggression issues.

bootney farnsworth

November 9th, 2012
3:27 pm

has anyone pointed out to Phil yet rape is about violence and control, not sex?

bootney farnsworth

November 9th, 2012
3:30 pm

@ atl born

this will continue to be an issue as long as

1-women don’t report it
2-the political definition of sexual assualt is so vague.

Private Citizen

November 9th, 2012
3:35 pm

next up, “The Respect Program’s mission is to engage the Emory community to prevent murder, assault, and home invasion,

The Respect Program’s mission is to engage the Emory community to prevent financial fraud and excessive engineering of the finance system,

The Respect Program’s mission is to engage the Emory community to prevent motor vehicle accidents due to alcohol,

The Respect Program’s mission is to engage the Emory community to prevent inside deals and country club strategy sessions and to lessen people using our secluded academic “Corporate War Room,” I mean “Conference Center,”

It’s meaningless jargon. Three words: Prosecutor. Court. Felon. Soften if up, make it politically correct and palatable. Legal Relationship Counselor, Activity Director, Jail Cell.

Heika

November 9th, 2012
3:39 pm

I’m telling you, Maureen, you need a Leper’s Colony like Something Awful. It’s the only way to make crappy comments hilarious.

http://forums.somethingawful.com/banlist.php

Private Citizen

November 9th, 2012
3:43 pm

Someone should take the person leading the “Respect” coalition and introduce them to Jerry Sandusky and they can talk about “Respect,” get some air outside of the Emory Bubble and see how the world works.

Private Citizen

November 9th, 2012
4:03 pm

Sex assault education programs are worthless.

Not when they involve firearms training and carry permit.

Pride and Joy

November 9th, 2012
4:08 pm

Alcohol didnt’ have anything to do with the rape of all those littloe boys by the evil Jerry Sandusky nor does it have to do with Emory rapes.
Rapists are thugs. Alcohol is just an excuse. Don’t let Maureen fool you. It wasn’t the beer that made the rapist rape. The rapist raped because he is a criminal, just like Jerry Sandusky. Lock em up and trhow away the key.

Private Citizen

November 9th, 2012
4:11 pm

I don’t do guns, but I’m not exactly a rape victim, either. Hey, someone sent me an email: After Obama got re-elected, the stock market dropped and Smith & Wesson stock went up 10% the same day.

Lee

November 9th, 2012
4:47 pm

“When it was published, the study was criticized by women’s health advocates for focusing too much on the victim’s behavior rather than that of the rapist. Their position: The focus must remain on the person who commits the rape and so should the responsibility.”

I’m sure we’ve all seen the safety signs that have a mirror and the slogan: “Meet the person responsible for your safety”.

No, we should not ignore the role of the rapist. However, we also must acknowledge that a little common sense goes a long way and we all bear responsibility for own safety. Drinking yourself into a stupor to the point that you cannot remember what transpired the night before is putting yourself in a dangerous situation.

Me

November 9th, 2012
5:11 pm

I think some of you are confused. The word “rape” can be confusing. I agree that rape is about power and control in the traditional sense. For instance…when someone goes out with the intent to rape someone, it is probably not about the sex itself. However, these sexual assaults are completely about sex. They more than likely stem from a situation involving people who are acquainted in one form or another and consist of one person taking advantage of the other. Alcohol certainly plays a huge role in these situations.
It’s difficult to lump all sexual assaults together and say “rape isn’t about sex”. In any case, I feel educating students about high risk behaviors is a good idea. What they do with that education will be up to them.

Phil from Athens

November 9th, 2012
5:41 pm

“has anyone pointed out to Phil yet rape is about violence and control, not sex?”

Has anyone pointed out to you that you have the IQ of a carrot?

Phil from Athens

November 9th, 2012
5:41 pm

“for Phil. get some help with your anger and aggression issues.”

Poor baby. Reading comprehension not your thang?

Brit

November 9th, 2012
8:04 pm

Personally, I don’t think we are doing enough to teach young women self-defense, whether they have been drinking or not. A guy tried to grab me at college, and told me “I wanted it”. I smashed a beer bottle over his head and he spent the night in ER. I didn’t get assaulted. A douchebag didn’t commit a criminal act and I taught him a valuable life lesson. We both came out better off.

Brit Rocks!

November 9th, 2012
8:17 pm

Brit you are my new hero! If more women would respond the way you did, fewer men would get away with rape.

Grob Hahn

November 9th, 2012
11:00 pm

Interesting how your title sanitized the fact these were 7 rapes, but at least the truth was in it for those who read on. If rapists, genuine rapists who attack unknown victims and maim them in the process, are executed, they don’t rape anyone else.
Grobbbbbbbbbb

Been here a long time.....

November 9th, 2012
11:18 pm

I agree with the individual who stated part of the problem starts from the top down at Emory. If you read past articles of what has happened to young women who have gone to the university and reported their victims you will see a sad pattern. Boys slapped on the hand but not expelled. Victims met with question. The university hospital did not even have rape kits and had no idea how to help the young victim. The University speaks a good game and puts up a good progressive front with the womens center but it is still a good old boys bastion at it’s administration’s core.

Edwin Jeter

November 9th, 2012
11:38 pm

When kids report to school their freshman year they should be educated, during orientation, concerning the factors which can lead to sexual assault. They should also be advised that alcohol sometimes has a role in sex crimes. Kids have different levels of knowledge related to “street activity” and an initial orientation linked to sexual assault and alcohol consumption might lead to a reduction and/or prevention of sexual assaults.

Tom

November 10th, 2012
1:48 am

As an advisor to a fraternity at Georgia Tech I am aware of the following as related by some officers. A young lady arrived late at a fraternity house party already inebriated. She passed out on a couch in the front room. She was left alone to sleep it off. When she awoke in the morning she got up and left. Within a week an attorney contacted the graduate advisors to the chapter that she claimed to have been raped and was seeking a very large financial settlement. The chapter was placed on probation by both the College and the National fraternity in that there is no way to prove innocence. Now, after six months, no suit has been filed and the probations will be lifted as of the end of the year. Unfortunately, there are women who wish to gain notoriety and money and they are aware that crying “rape” is a very convenient and easy avenue. I say this not to lessen the seriousness of those women who have been raped or to excuse the rapists but one can easily see that innocent men can easily be extorted in a situation which is almost impossible to prove that it occurred or prove that it did not.

bootney farnsworth

November 10th, 2012
8:16 am

@ Maureen

I’ve got a plenty thick skin, and am more than capable of holding my my own in the schoolyard.
Since Phil refuses to do anything but wave his butt in people’s faces, may I kick it?

I know its your virtual living room, but in my experience sometimes if the host is unwilling or
able, the other guests have to throw the angry drunk out of the house for her.

bootney farnsworth

November 10th, 2012
8:26 am

@ Tom

that’s part of what I mean about the politics of sexual assault. its an accusation which carries a de facto guilty sentence and destroys reputations. being proven innocent is incidental, and does nothing to remove the stigma of the claim.

just ask Duke Lacrosse.

I’m a firm believer in no meaning no, but no has to actually be demonstrated via oral proclamation or genuine struggle. and it has to occur before, during, or shortly after. not the next morning when you feel guilty about your actions of the night before.

bootney farnsworth

November 10th, 2012
8:29 am

@ been

I have a hard time believing Emory Hospital doesn’t have rape kits. Can you support this?

mountain man

November 10th, 2012
8:34 am

Believe me I am not defending rapists here, but if I were a 19-year-old male at a college, I would be scared out of my mind at the possibility of being called a rapist. Of course 19-year-old males want to have sex – their hormone levels are off the scale. But nowadays, it seems like you had better have a signed, notarized permission slip along with a certified breathalyzer test before you can have sex with a female and not have the chance of having a rape charge filed against you.

I agree that the problem is linked to alcohol abuse and binge drinking – I was very careful to keep repeating to my daughters when I sent them off to college – remember. for a guy, “candy is dandy, but liquor is quicker”. I would agree that any male who deliberately plies a female with alcohol with the express intent of getting into her pants is a rapist, but intent is very hard to prove. What about two young people, both blitzed out of their minds, he takes her to bed, she doesn’t say yes, but doesn’t say no, then they wake up the net morning and she cries rape? How many drinks does it take before a woman is “unable to consent or refuse”? Is that one drink, five drinks in five hours, more?

I think that there are some real rapists out there, but I think a lot of this is just alcohol consumption carried too far and bad outcomes happen for both parties.

bootney farnsworth

November 10th, 2012
8:38 am

something I’ve taught my daughters is if you don’t drink yourself into oblivion, you’re not gonna be too drunk to give consent.

mountain man

November 10th, 2012
8:45 am

And just to play devil’s advocate – if two young people are both blitzed out of their minds and wake up the next morning and realize they had sex, what would stop the man from filing rape charges against the woman? He was “unable to consent or refuse” also.

We have focused on seual assault as primarily a crime by males against females (which I believe it is in 99% of cases). But I am uncomfortable with how we determine “rape” nowadays. It isn’t like in the old days when a “rapist” was a predator roaming the streets, grabbing a girl from behind, threatening her life with a knife, then violently carrying out the act of sex. THOSE are the ones that Bootney says are acts of power and control and not about sex. I think a lot of the college campus rapes are about sex and hormones run wild and excess drinking.

bootney farnsworth

November 10th, 2012
8:47 am

@ mountain,

it also lends itself to confusion. when you slap the beer headphones on, did you think you heard the answer you wanted? did one or both misunderstand the question or the implication? or for that matter, was it a genuine yes when blotto that would have been a no when sober?

sad but sorry simple truth is, this kind of crap is the provable, documented direct result of mixing young people anywhere -college or not- with too much booze and too little common sense.

and as unpopular as this can be, I do believe there is a major difference between regret for stupid decisions from the night before and genuine sexual assault.

mountain man

November 10th, 2012
8:47 am

“something I’ve taught my daughters is if you don’t drink yourself into oblivion, you’re not gonna be too drunk to give consent.”

Good point, Bootney, exactly what I told my daughters.

But if they do and then get raped and someone brings up that they drank themselves into a stupor, then others will say that you are “blaming the victim”.

bootney farnsworth

November 10th, 2012
8:51 am

@ mountain

you make a very good point, which leads to another difficult question:
if everybody got blotto and sex of questionable consent happened, is it actually sexual assault or
something else?

as you point out, there is a big difference between a predator using force and two drunk kids who
left common sense back in the dorm room.

mountain man

November 10th, 2012
8:59 am

I have never supported the 21-year-old drinking age; I am against it in principle. I have withdrawn my support for MADD because of their support for it (they became MAD – mothers against drinking). The law is rediculous, is not enforced (or arbitrarily enforced) and has driven the drinking underground. In my opinion, it has also made drinking a “forbidden pleasure” and has encouraged binge drinking.

Perhaps the law we need (instead of a 21 year old drinking age), is an intoxication limit in any situation not expressly by yourself – say 0.12. That way people could have a beer or two and not get into the drunken stupor stages. Police could raid college parties and do breathilyzer tests.

bootney farnsworth

November 10th, 2012
9:03 am

another unpopular thing I’ve taught my girls is you have more to lose than the guy does (when it comes to sex) so as unfair as you think it is, you gotta be smarter than he is.

-don’t drink to excess
-don’t go somewhere secluded on an early date
-don’t leave your drink unattended
-don’t equate cute with nice
-don’t go upstairs to a guys room alone unless you are willing to put sex on the table
-don’t hesitate to say no loudly with forceful intent
-don’t go to parties where getting blotto is the main attraction

respect yourself and protect yourself. don’t count on anyone else to do either for you

bootney farnsworth

November 10th, 2012
9:06 am

maybe Emory ought require the presence of a cop at greek parties where alcohol is served. and some kind of golf cart shuttle service to get kids back to their dorms

mountain man

November 10th, 2012
9:24 am

“maybe Emory ought require the presence of a cop at greek parties where alcohol is served. and some kind of golf cart shuttle service to get kids back to their dorms”

This might be a great idea and the Greeks should embrace it – except for one little problem – drinking for most of the students is ILLEGAL. They can’t ask for official help in policing something that is currently illegal, so it has to be underground. Thus my earlier point.